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Need Help Building a Cleveland

December 10 2010 at 1:13 PM
Troy  (Login Troy68)
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I have a 1970 Mach 1 that I bought so my dad and I can spend time together doing something we both enjoy. It's originally a 351C 4bbl (M code) with a close ratio 4-speed and a Shaker hood. It currently has a really strong running 351W under a stock hood. I would like to build up a correctly date coded 351C block, exhaust manifolds, intake, etc. that came with the car. This included 2bbl heads as the previous owner had heard that they were "the hot ticket". I personally would like the car to be as close to stock as possible but I drive a lot so I'm willing to make changes for drivability and reliability.

My basic requirements are:
1. Fit/work with the stock shaker setup
2. Look stock(ish) - so no blocky aluminum heads, tall intakes, or headers
3. Great street manners (8-10k miles per year in a mix of city streets, back roads, and highways)
4. Set it and forget it - I like to drive not fiddle around under the hood
5. It would be nice if it had some unexpected (hidden) power - dad has to keep up with my 340 Challenger

Dad had a 69 Torino with a 351W and 4-speed. He remembers test driving a 351C Mustang in 1970 and wasn't impressed. That was 40 years ago so I have no other details. He says the 351W currently in the Mach 1 feels faster than his car so I would like to at least improve upon that. If I can build it stock and accomplish my goals then that's great but I have to build something so any extra improvements are welcome.

If I buy a set of closed chamber 4bbl heads should I worry about the compression ratio? I can get 93 octane fuel but it scares me a little to run that high of compression with iron heads.

Since the 4bbl heads flow so well, I was wondering if a mild stroker kit would make use of the flow while adding some low end torque? Would the stock intake and exhaust offset any gains?

Would the "Aussie" heads or any of the aftermarket heads provide enough of an advantage to consider using them instead? Again, not a race engine.

I know cam technology has come a long way. What would be the best choice for my application?

An additional option: a local Mustang restoration shop has an already built 351C that is supposedly date correct for my car. I need to verify details but if everything is truly date coded then it should have closed chamber 4bbl heads already. The engine builder used a cam that he found to work really well but I don't have the specs handy. I'm assuming it is a stock rebuild other than the cam. Asking price is $2,500 intake to pan (I have a carb and exhaust manifolds). It looks like it will cost $1,700-2,000 to build mine in a similar fashion and I'd still have to purchase the 4bbl heads. I can sell off some parts to offset the cost of buying it though.



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